Tribal Leadership - Dave Logan, John King and Halee Fischer-Wright

Tribal Leadership - Dave Logan, John King and Halee Fischer-Wright

Learn here a different approach to organizational culture, through which you will be able to develop tribes within your company, as well as evolve your team to achieve operational excellence.

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What is your tribe?

According to the authors, forming tribes is part of human nature. Thus, it makes sense to think that this also occurs within companies and organizations.

Understanding this dynamic and strengthening the existing tribes within the company is fundamental to achieving success, as in this way it is possible to implement a culture within the organization.

With this book, the authors promise to present differentiated views on managing organizations, corporate culture and leadership, as well as providing practical advice to evolve as a leader and, consequently, strengthen your tribe.

Would you like to learn more about tribal style leadership? Read this summary to better understand this approach!

About the book “Tribal Leadership”

A New York Times bestseller, the book is the result of a more than ten-year study carried out by the authors, which involved the participation of more than ten thousand people employed in more than 20 different companies.

The work, launched in 2008, has about 300 pages and presents a roadmap for achieving excellent results through the cultural transformation of the organization.

Who are Dave Logan, John King and Halee Fischer-Wright?

Dave Logan holds a PhD in Organizational Communication from the University of Southern California. He is a co-founder of CultureSync, a consulting firm focused on cultural transformation and strategy, with work in a variety of sectors, including healthcare, real estate, technology and government agencies.

John King also founded CultureSync and continues to work at the company. He also acts as a speaker at business events, in addition to participating in workshops at several universities.

Halee Fischer-Wright was also a partner at CultureSync. A physician, she worked in the field before becoming CEO of the Medical Group Management Association, a foundation that serves the healthcare industry by providing ideas and solutions to achieve excellence in medical practice.

To whom is this book indicated?

The book's content is valuable to people who play a leadership role in any type of organization, as it teaches a human and differentiated approach to corporate culture, based on collective values and sustainable change.

What can I learn from “Tribal Leadership”?

  • A roadmap for managing teams comprehensively and efficiently;
  • How the leader and his team can influence each other;
  • The basis for outstanding leadership;
  • How to understand and transform the culture of your company.

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Tribal Leadership - Dave Logan, John King and Halee Fischer-Wright

What are corporate tribes?

To explain the concept of corporate tribes, the authors present the following metaphor: a company is like a set of villages or small towns. People are different between “cities”, and the roles played are not exactly the same, but the dynamics of operation remain the same.

These people form the corporate tribes, which can have up to 150 people. One way to identify if a person is part of your tribe is to check if they are in your contact book and, especially, if you say “hi” when you see them.

Tribes are formed naturally, as they are the result of a human characteristic, and their performance varies according to the culture of that tribe, which must be implemented and strengthened by the tribal leader.

The authors classify the culture of corporate tribes into five stages, with the fifth stage being the one that leadership should aim for.

What are the five stages of tribal culture?

Stage 1: Alienated People

According to the authors' research, only 2% of workers in the United States are in this stage, which is formed by people oblivious to everything, who are always complaining that "life sucks" and have no respect for life and society.

Among the companies studied that presented “stage 1” tribes, one went bankrupt after having several accounting scandals, while others lived with several problems and abusive attitudes.

As a way of helping individuals get out of this stage, the book gives the following tips:

  1. Encourage them to attend social events, meetings or a simple lunch with coworkers;
  2. Show that life can be different and better than they imagine;
  3. Help them cut ties with other like-minded people who don't want to evolve.

Stage 2: Disengaged People

Stage 2 people are those who act like victims of circumstance and fail to have the ambition or excitement for new ideas. When presented with new solutions, they say: “we've tried something similar before, it didn't work and it won't work now either”.

According to the research carried out by the authors, 25% of the workforce fits into this type of culture, which tends to be passive and deliver only the minimum acceptable.

As a way to help this type of person, the authors suggest the following actions:

  1. Make it possible for them to establish relationships with inspiring people and encourage them to step out of their comfort zone;
  2. In feedback meetings, show the impact of the work that was done by them, point out their main strengths and indicate competencies that can be improved, but always in a positive tone;
  3. Delegate to Stage 2 people projects that can be done quickly, which makes it easier to see the results of their efforts.

Stage 3: Narcissistic People

In the next stage, you find individuals who believe they are great professionals, but not only that, they are better than everyone else. This share corresponds to 49% of the workforce.

These people are passionate about winning, and they make it personal. For this, they make the most effort, are motivated and do everything to achieve their goal.

However, they can have a very misguided sense of teamwork, since they value other people's help only until the moment they achieve the goal, without thinking about the greater good.

To lead people in Stage 3, you must:

  1. Delegate large projects that require teamwork;
  2. Show that to reach the next level in their careers, not only their own effort is enough, they need the help of other professionals;
  3. Explain the importance and power of networking;
  4. Encourage transparency and reporting.

Stage 4: Collaborative People

Moving up the chain, we find more collaborative people, who represent 22% of the workforce within the population studied by the authors.

These people are proud of the tribe they belong to, and see a common purpose in the work they do. In addition, they share core values and feel responsible for the results of the team as a whole.

However, there can be a certain arrogance, in the sense that only the group in which they participate is good and deserves praise. Therefore, it is important to follow these tips:

  1. Always stress the importance of other groups as a way of ensuring that people settle into stage 4;
  2. Encourage the dissemination of the team's core values;
  3. Delegate multidisciplinary projects that depend on the collaboration of other tribes.

Stage 5: Evolved People

Finally, we come to stage 5: one in which people are extremely collaborative and united, aiming for a common goal. As in stage 1, they are very rare and correspond to only 2% of the workforce.

These people believe and trust in the great potential that exists within the tribe, capable of strong impacts. However, they manage to have the humility and maturity to continue learning and working productively with other teams.

Individuals in this group understand that other groups can be allies and that it is necessary to take advantage of such alliances to grow sustainably. In general, they are vital working communities.

As an example of a level 5 team, the authors cite the team that developed the first Macintosh, a computer launched in 1984, pioneering the user interface and revolutionizing personal computing.

However, the authors explain that it is extremely complicated for a team to stay in stage 5 of the tribal corporate culture for a long time, so it is critical to make the most of the moment of extreme synergy and achieve the best results.

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David Rock, author of "Quiet Leadership", highlights how valuable it is to follow up on the team, either as a form of feedback to adjust possible mistakes during the journey, or to motivate and engage the team.

Right, but how can I be a better leader?

  • Identify existing tribes in your organization and, based on that, follow the tips provided by the authors to evolve the team;
  • Stay at least at stage 4 of the corporate culture;
  • Work for the good of your team as they will reward you with motivation, focus, hard work and better results.
  • Empathize;
  • Ask questions!

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Tribal Leadership